People are being reminded of the dangers of frozen water following reports of children walking on the ice at Kirk Hallam lake.

On Thursday December 15 Derbyshire Police received calls about children and young people playing on frozen lakes and ponds in the Erewash area. The recent tragic events in Solihull brought the dangers of frozen water into sharp focus, in a heart-breaking way.

Inspector Ed Browne, from Erewash Local Policing Unit, said: “As a father of two young children, I cannot begin to comprehend the pain of the families impacted by the tragic incident in Solihull. I therefore appeal directly to all parents, guardians, and young people to stay away from open water, especially frozen water."

In response to footage on local social media pages showing young people playing on ice, Inspector Browne said: “These may look like fun places to play but can become potentially lethal for those who venture onto the ice, as often the ice cannot support the weight of people or animals. The added hazards are the slippery banks, and the ice-cold temperature of the water should an incident occur, which can put anyone who tries to help at risk."

“I do not want a local family to be receiving news that a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of playing on ice, which is why I am repeating the appeal for every parent, guardian, and young person to stay away from frozen water and to have conversations about the very real risks of this behaviour."

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service have published further information on its website.

Every year children are at risk when they are tempted to play on the ice formed on open waters and adults find themselves at risk as they attempt to save them. Over 50% of ice related drowning involved an attempted rescue of another person or a dog.

Areas with frozen waters can be beautiful to look at but they are also extremely dangerous.
Here are some useful tips to help you enjoy these areas safely:

  • Never go on the ice under ANY circumstances. This includes attempting to rescue another person or animal who may have fallen through the ice.
  • Only use well lit areas: Try to take walks in the daylight but if you must walk in the evening, only use well lit areas and avoid anywhere with water.
  • Keep away from the edge of the water: Never go close to the edge or lean over to touch the ice. You may over balance or trip and fall in.
  • Always walk with an adult or a group of friends. Look out for each other and if someone does fall through the ice there will be others around to raise the alarm and get help.

What to do if you fall through the ice:

  • Keep calm and shout ‘help’.
  • Spread your arms across the surface of the ice in front of you.
  • Try to kick your legs and pull yourself out of the water and on to the ice.
  • Lie flat, spreading your weight across the surface and pull yourself to the bank. you may find it easier to roll.
  • If you cannot climb out, wait for help and keep as still as possible.
  • Keep your head above the water, press your arms by your side and keep your legs together

Once you are safe, it is important that you go to hospital immediately for a check up
What to do if you see someone fall through the ice:

  • Shout for ‘help’ and dial 999 or 112 if you can - do not walk on to the ice to attempt a rescue
  • Shout to the person to ‘keep still’ and offer reassurance.
  • If they are close enough, lie down to avoid overbalancing and falling onto the ice, and try to reach them with a tree branch clothing tied together or anything else which can extend your reach.
  • If you cannot reach them, slide something which floats across the ice, such as a plastic bottle or a football , so that they can hold on to it to stay afloat whilst help is on the way.
  • If they are too far away, wait for the emergency services and reassure the casualty from the safety of the bank.